In the 1940's, most children didn't receive store bought toys like our children in today's society. They created their own homemade toys from materials found around the home. The purchased toys they may have received usually came from mail order catalogs.
Mom and her siblings were no exception- they rarely received toys, even on Christmas and their birthdays. Their play time was spent outdoors, in the woods and on the river bank.
During the summer we had this old boat and with Mama at work and us kids to fend for ourselves and protect the little brother and sister we had to figure out a way to keep them safe while we played with the boat.
So with a rope to tie Elton and Gertie in the edge of the water so they couldn't wander off into deep water we was set for a summer of fun. A boat with a big hole in it and a river.
We would float the boat out into the river when it started to sink we would jump out, pull it to the bank, bail out the water and start over.
In a poor family you learn to play with what you have, make do with the clothes and eat what you are blessed with. Our daddy wasn't around much but we had Mama, grandparents and each other.
Of course everyone had their own swim holes. There was the Barnetts, Pittmans, Mays, Culpeppers and ours.
You did not go to these special places unless you were invited this were [sic] private places in a [sic] ever running river but each protected their territory with pride. The deepest and widest ones was the better ones.
So Alton and I came up with this great idea to make ours the very best. So we wented [sic] to Grandpa with a story only a grandfather would believe comming [sic] from his grandchildrens [sic].
While the river was out of its banks from a lot of rain a few weeks earlier this great big alligator had swan [sic] up stream right into our swim hole.
Now the job was to get rid of the gator and to protect his grandchildrens [sic]. So down to the river with a couple of sticks of dynamite and Boom the children are safe and Alton and I have a real deep swim hole. Of course the big gator never did float to the top. Must have been blown to bits.